An alumnus and member of the University’s Board of Trustees pledged $1 million to the Elliott School of International Affairs this week, a gift that the school will use to extend its global reach through research and fellowship grants.
The donation from David Nadler, who joined the board last July, will establish the Nadler Endowment in Leadership and Governance, a unique fund to support student and faculty research, scholarships and fellowships for students and seminars and conferences for Elliott staff.
“I wanted to match up my interest with things at Elliott. I thought that was the way to make it a lasting contribution,” Nadler said, referring to his years as an academic, when he published 14 books about leadership and governance before entering into business.
Nadler said he believes donating to “an institution that benefits you” is a requirement for graduates with the means to contribute.
“Tuition does not cover the cost of education. I was able to go, because some other people in the past gave and paid for part of my education," he said. "For people who have done reasonably well in life, part of the obligation is to then support the generations following us."
The trustee, who received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from GW in 1970 and now serves as chairman of the Elliott School’s International Council, called the school GW’s “crown jewel,” pointing to the school’s highly ranked academic programs.
Nadler is the vice chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a global consulting firm that works specifically on leadership in large-scale corporations.
Meegan McVay, director of development for the Elliott School, said the donation contributes to an area of study that has not received its own funds in the past.
“We have not had the resources to create a sharp and sustained focus specifically on leadership and governance. The Nadler Endowment in Leadership and Governance will fill that gap,” McVay said.
The gift will “substantially enhance” the school’s focus on international studies, adding prestige to the University, Elliott School Dean Michael Brown, who declined to sit for an interview, said in a statement.
“Managing the challenges that are being generated by globalization will be extremely difficult, but one thing is clear: Good leadership and good governance will be increasingly important in our interconnected world,” Brown said.
Since Brown was named dean in 2005, he has prioritized cross-school collaborations, academic excellence and connections with alumni.
Nadler’s gift concludes a strong year of fundraising for the Elliott School, Patricia Danver, a spokeswoman for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, said. She declined to disclose the individual school’s fundraising figures.
The Elliott School saw a $2 million donation from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in January to support research in the Middle East and Eurasia.
Last February, the school fielded one of the largest gifts in its history – a $3.15 million gift to advance research, teaching and outreach.
“We are thrilled and gratified that Dr. Nadler, as an alumnus and a trustee, stepped forward with a gift that will support students and grow programs at GW,” Danver said.